SBTC DR trainings focus on evangelism

ABILENE—Around 20 volunteers seeking certification or recertification as SBTC Disaster Relief volunteers gathered Feb. 1-2 at Broadview Baptist Church in Abilene for the first Phase 1 and 2 DR training sessions of 2019. Volunteers learned that DR serves the spiritual as well as the physical needs of victims.

“We do chainsaw, we do mud-out, we do clean up and recovery, but we do it all so we can share Christ,” SBTC DR Director Scottie Stice told participants in Saturday’s general session.

SBTC DR—funded through the Cooperative Program and Reach Texas giving mechanisms, and individual donations—is a calling, Stice said. “Hurricane Harvey hit and we felt compelled to serve. That came straight from the Lord Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit to his servants. We can’t help but want to help,” he added.

Referencing SBTC DR materials, Stice defined disaster partly as “an occurrence that causes human suffering or create human needs that the victims cannot alleviate without assistance.”

Physical needs in a disaster are many. “If a tornado hits a car, we can’t replace the car, but we can get that tree off the car,” Stice said. But DR ministry is much more, for each victim presents an opportunity for a volunteers to share the gospel and be a blessing, he noted.

Stice explained the “Hope in Crisis” tract to trainees. The tract, which is also available in Spanish, was developed by the North American Mission Board’s Send Relief initiative for use in disasters. Featuring the biblical illustration of Job as a survivor of trauma, the tract includes a short gospel presentation.

“Know your testimony. Know some sort of gospel presentation plan,” Stice urged volunteers.

At the request of Shane Pruitt, SBTC director of evangelism, SBTC DR trainings are now featuring instruction in intentional evangelism, Stice told the TEXAN.

“Traditionally our chaplains have done evangelism and they have done a good job,” Stice said. “Last year, Richard Taylor [SBTC personal evangelism associate] spoke to our groups. This year we chose to train all our volunteers in One-Verse Evangelism.”

One-Verse Evangelism, a discipleship tool developed by the Navigators ministry, focuses on Romans 6:23. Its use in SBTC DR was the brainchild of Kevin Jones, missions pastor of Fellowship Church in Royce City.

“About the time we were making the change to add evangelism training, Kevin came up and had the idea to use One-Verse Evangelism,” Stice said.

“I had just finished unit director training,” Jones told the TEXAN. “I talked to Scottie about One-Verse Evangelism. I was making a suggestion that turned into a ‘would you do this?’” Jones said that he had successfully used the method to train church members in evangelism as they prepared for mission trips.

Discussions with Taylor led to the production of eyeglass cleaning cloths with Romans 6:23 and the One-Verse graphics imprinted on them, a practical item facilitating the sharing the gospel during DR deployments.

Admitting that he was not a natural evangelist himself, Jones urged DR volunteers, “You and I are given the opportunity to share the gospel. People need the gospel as much as they need their house remediated. People need the gospel in hopeless situations.”

Jones cited surveys by Barna (1993, 2018) showing that sharing their faith is becoming “increasingly optional to Christians” and LifeWay (2012) indicating that while 80 percent of churchgoers said they believed it was every Christian’s duty to share the gospel, only 61 percent of that 80 percent claimed to have done so.

“Jesus healed the blind and shared the kingdom. He healed the paralytic man and forgave his sins. We are given needs in order to share the gospel,” Jones said.

The training session included a time to practice the method.

Kendra Kimberlin of Lubbock, a new DR volunteer, called the One-Verse tool helpful, but stressed the importance of relating to the survivor before starting a gospel conversation.

Veteran volunteers Patrice Herring and Marjie Batchelder were also positive.

While Herring said she preferred the EvangeCube, One-Verse’s drawing of a chasm separating God and man would be appropriate for witnessing to adults and children.

Batchelder noted there were many evangelistic tools, adding that she had often used the Four Spiritual Laws.

Before the room buzzed with people practicing One-Verse Evangelism, Jones told the TEXAN he planned to do One-Verse presentations at future DR trainings in 2019, equipping volunteers with one more tool to be used to minister to those in crisis, where the hurts and needs are more than material.

Following the evangelism workshop, volunteers chose areas of service such as child care, assessments, chaplaincy, clean up and recovery, feeding, administration and communications for further training.


SBTC DR Trainings 2019

Phase 1

Feb 2 – Broadview BC, Abilene

March 9 – FBC, Wake Village

April 13 – Spring Baptist Church

Sept 27 – FBC, Alvarado

Phase 2

Feb 1 – Broadview BC, Abilene

March 8 – FBC, Wake Village

April 12 – Spring Baptist Church

Sept 27 – FBC, Alvarado

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